The US Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded a contract for construction of a new uranium conversion plant to a Framatome ANP-led consortium.
The estimated $558 million contract was awarded to Uranium Disposition Services, a consortium formed by Framatome ANP, Duratek Federal Services and Burns and Roe Enterprises. Five companies submitted proposals, including a consortium comprising USEC and CH2MHill.
The contract is for conversion of the government's inventories of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) into uranium oxide (U3O8), for subsequent disposal and/or re-enrichment. The DoE has a large inventory of DUF6 - a by-product of historical weapons production activities - at facilities in Tennessee (56,000t), Kentucky (198,000t) and Ohio (450,000t).
The contractor will be responsible for design, construction and operation of two facilities at Paducah, Kentucky and Portsmouth, Ohio, for maintaining the depleted uranium and product inventories, and for transporting depleted uranium for conversion at the Ohio plant from Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The contract runs until 3 August 2010. Following completion of construction, the consortium will operate both facilities for five years.
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